Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How To Get More Traffic To Your Blog Today!

One of the top questions asked by all new internet entrepreneurs is "How do I get more traffic to my website or blog?!" Rightly so as without visitors to your new domain, you can pretty much count on it failing!

The challenge is knowing where to begin when it comes to generating blog traffic. What usually happens is we end up in the AdWords 'Cycle of Death'! We create our website, spend a lot of money creating AdSense ads, then end up running out of money. All while generating very little to no traffic. This is actually quite common for internet business owners. There are actually some tried and true methods we can use to avoid these mistakes and start out right!

We can actually use a 'not-so-secret-secret' to generate traffic and increase sales that successful internet business owners use all the time! No gimmicks or crazy initiations. We'll just need to block off a little time and get to work!

The first thing we need to do is determine who our customers are. If we don't know who we are selling too, and what their internet patterns are, sales may fall flat. There are a couple tools we can use to find out this information. The first is Google Trends. It is free, and we can use it to find information on keywords related to our website and who is looking for them. This also ties in with the Google AdWords Tool. We can use this to help refine what keywords are more popular for our niche or product.

Our next step is to start marketing to our audience. This is where we will establish a wider presence on the internet to help generate website traffic. Now that we know all about our audience, and the keywords they like to use, we can start writing content-rich articles and place them on article sites like EzineArticles and Go Articles. We will submit to as many sites as we can to build our 'authority', and to give us an opportunity to show our article resource box to the world! The resource box is where we get to put links directly back to our website so our customers can go to our site as soon as they read our article.

Finally, you will start generating traffic to your articles using email marketing and supplemental traffic sources. Also, using supplemental sources like YouTube, social media like Facebook and Twitter posts, can generate a 'buzz' around your site that can generate website traffic consistently.

If we follow these simple steps, we should be able to generate a decent amount of traffic to boost sales and get our website off the ground! You just have to realize it will take a little time. Stick to the strategy, and the traffic will follow!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Work From Home by Making Money Online

There are various ways to make money online. Online jobs are available by the thousands, but most people turn to the internet for financial freedom. If you swap out a regular 9-5 job for a regular online job, it lets you work from home, but it's still not an upgrade. If you want to become an online entrepreneur, you need to have money work for you and not the other way around. So what is the best way to start? Many people think it requires a lot of money to start your own business.

Affiliate marketing is by far the best way to start making money online. Affiliate marketing is all about selling other people's products. When you sell other people's products, you don't need to spend time dealing with customer orders, customer support, creating the product, and investing a lot of money to do all of those things. When you sell other people's products, you have to work hard for your money, but when you get it right, the commissions start coming on completely on autopilot.

Affiliate marketing requires the ability to generate a lot of online traffic. Without traffic, you have no business. Getting traffic is not the only component to the formula that will make you rich online. You have to have targeted traffic, and you must be able to convert that traffic into buyers. You can pay for targeted traffic by running pay per click ad campaigns, but when you are starting out, you do not want to take this monetary risk. Getting free targeted traffic is the best way to start making money online.

To get free buyer-targeted traffic, you need to rank high in the search engines. Search engines like Google are used by tens of millions of people on a daily basis, if not more. In order to take advantage of all of these potential customers, you have to put in the work to get your website to rank at the top for popular and targeted keywords. Google offers a free tool to tell you exactly how many people are searching for certain keyword phrases. If you just search for Google Keyword Tool in Google, it will come up.

Once you have found a main keyword on which you want to focus, you will have to build your online business around a relevant niche and incorporate that keyword, along with a handful of other relevant keywords, into your website. You need to have a good keyword density in the content on your website. For a small website, a keyword density of between 2 and 4 percent is enough. You do not want to go over that keyword density for more than four or five posts on your blog or website.

When you have your website optimized for the search engines, or what is known as local search engine optimization, you are now going to need to focus the majority of your time on building backlinks and interacting with other entities in your niche. Building backlinks is referred to as external search engine optimization, or SEO. Backlinks can be built in a variety of ways, but you want to stick to quality content. You do not want to spam when you are building backlinks, and it is always best to manually create them rather than using automated software.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Your Online Business: The 10 Most Important Questions

It has been said that over 90% of small businesses fail within the first five years of getting started.

I can tell you from experience that the first five years can be very tough if you are underfunded and are new to what you are doing.

When I started online I had $14 to my name and a burning desire to make a living online. But I was new to online business and that made things very hard.

Fortunately for me (sounds odd to say it that way) I was so sick that all I had was time. If I was awake I was working. Thankfully, we made it into the 10%

How can you put yourself in the 10% who make it and avoid being in the 90%?

I believe one factor is to ask better questions before you start your online business.

I strongly believe that most people start a business (especially online) without really having enough facts to make that move. It's incredibly easy to buy a product on impulse and think that the act of purchasing has put you into a business.

We have all been there. I have... many times!

The reality is often different. Buying a product can be very casual. If you ask anyone who has succeeded in business, from Apple to your favorite online teacher, you will discover that it takes much more than one purchase to build a real business.

    Here are the questions I would ask if I knew what I know now and were starting over.

1. Who is my ideal customer?

Knowing who your ideal customer is is vital to your success. After all, just as you can't hit a target you cannot see you will be hard-pressed to make sales unless you can identify your perfect customer.

Here are a few questions to ask about your ideal prospective customer.

    Are they a man or woman, or does sex not matter?
    Do they need to be in a certain income bracket?
    Is it important that they have, or don't have, children?
    Is location important? Will you be selling a location-specific product or a language-specific offer?
    Does age matter?

These are just a few examples. The more you know your prospects, the better job you will be able to do with your marketing.

And success in business is mostly about marketing, especially online. Great marketing can sell even marginally good products. Poor marketing would fail to sell the fountain of youth.

2. What do they want?

Notice this because it matters... a lot. I said what do they want, not what do they need.

The #1 lesson I learned in my many years of sales training was this - people buy with emotion and justify their choice with logic.

Most of what people buy is based on what they want, can afford, and fits their self-image.

3. What do they need?

Knowing both what your customer needs and wants is vital. This will help you tailor your sales message, inform your decision about advertising resources and more.

If you really think about needs vs. wants you will find that your product is almost certainly one that people want, not one they need.

Selling to needs and selling to wants is much different, so please take time to think this one through.

4. What are they being offered now?

Once you know who your ideal prospect is, and what product you intend to promote to them, it's time to do some market research.

Just do some searching on Google as you think your customer would do. Then visit some sites (I usually visit 100 or more) and see what they are offering.

HOT TIP: Make notes of the URLs in Evernote (or bookmark them) as you go. You will want to revisit some of these sites later to see what sales approach they are using.

Ignoring what your competitors are doing is bad business. Copying what your competitors are doing is bad business too.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Secrets To A Profitable Affiliate Marketing Business

It's no longer a secret that affiliate marketing is a highly profitable venture. It's a burgeoning market, where one needs to sell the parent company's products. It's the affiliates who promote and sell the products, and in return, get a share (at least 50%) of the profits through commissions. However, the most important step is to not push your product through a large number of affiliates. A properly planned strategy is required before launching the product on the internet or engaging affiliates to promote the product for you.

An online business is a great way to supplement your income. You'll also get to pursue your hobby and the marketing program helps promote your product in a good way. The higher the price of a product, the greater the commission is for the affiliate. There's no need to build any type of inventory for the products.

Since affiliates usually start an aggressive promotional campaign before the launch of a product, customers may not be unable to access the site when the product is available. As a result of the traffic snarl, many potential customers may give up the idea of wanting buying the product because of the hassle incurred. Thus, it's important to have a good idea of the traffic expected, so the site can handle the high volume of visitors.

Improper documentation about the product leads to uncertainty about the utility of the product, as well as the mode of using it. For example, if you launch a health product, then it's important to describe the method of its use, its benefits and side effects, if any, etc. Thus, the secret to a successful affiliate marketing business is to do your homework well before launching the product. The infrastructure has to be properly set up so that one can use the strategy to the maximum extent.

There are a few secrets to a prospering marketing program which if followed, will yield good returns. To start with, think and decide upon the areas that interest you. Deliberate on the products that you'll be comfortable promoting.

When you zero in on a few of these products, do some brainstorming in deciding on the final one. Which product will generate the maximum sales revenue? The product should be a niche one to give you a good market. But at the same time, you don't want to select a product where the audience for it is scarce. Once the product phrase is finalized, a combination of patience, perseverance, hard work and determination will be required for the next step.

Business is all about ups and downs. Patience is one of the uppermost requirements for a successful venture. Weigh the pros and cons, your strengths and weaknesses and then decide on your niche. Remember, hard work never fails. Learn new marketing skills.

Observe your competitors. Check out the strategies that they've adopted to promote their products. You must first listen and learn to effectively and creatively sell your products. Don't expect fast money overnight, because it's not going to happen.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

When Affiliate Marketing Is Like Buying a Used Car

Have you ever bought a used car?

I have and believe it or not I only had one bad experience. I've lost count of just how many new and used automobiles and trucks I've owned-but I was only burned once.

We were looking for what we thought might be something close to a luxury car... close, but not the real thing like a Cadillac or Mercedes. We found a car advertised by owner in our local newspaper. The young lady we talked to said the car actually belonged to her brother, and she was helping him sell it. It was 5 years old but only had 27,000 miles on it.

Let the buyer beware

We bought the car and within a month the water pump quit. After replacing that we had frequent over-heating problems. Next to go was the battery and it needed a costly tune up. One day while rummaging through the glove box I found an old North Carolina State Inspection report tucked away in the Owner's Manual. It showed that at a previous inspection, the car had over 150,000 miles on it.

Since we bought it from a private individual we had little recourse-plus she (and no doubt her brother) had moved out of the area.

"Let the buyer beware!"

Watch out for Internet Clunkers too

Back in 2009 I decided to take a shot at starting a home-based business to supplement my income. With absolutely no clue as to what was available, I searched online. On a website I had come to know and respect I found an ad for a home-business opportunity. The sales (pitch) page made affiliate marketing sound like a dream come true, so without further hesitation, I whipped out my VISA card and spent $47 for an immediately-downloaded Ebook. This Ebook explained that affiliate marketing requires no cash to get started. But reading it cover to cover left me with more questions than answers.

The first thing I could think of as I read through it was, "I just bought another 'Low-Mileage' used car.

As time passed and I succumbed to a couple more "Get Rich Quick." "Make $10,751.36 in just 30 days," offers and their useless Ebooks, it began to look like affiliate marketing is just one big low mileage car after another.

Listen to voices of experience

Those folks who have been affiliate marketers since back in the 1990s told me that over 95% of beginning marketers quit after less than a few months. Well DUH! Is it any wonder? But you know what? Here it is now 2012, and I've been at it now beginning my 4th year and I'm well past the pain of leaky water pumps and dead batteries.

The point I'm making here is that this concept of affiliate marketing is really based on sound business principles-if you run it like a business. The basics of getting started are quite simple and do not require a degree from the Wharton School of Business. And you can start a business like this on virtually no up-front cash.

Trial and Error

Granted, I depended on trial and error for well over my first year. And, yes I was often discouraged to the point that I considered, "Pulling the rip cord and bailing out."

Some very wise person once said, "If you fail to plan-you are planning to fail." Well... I was obviously without a plan-so I changed my tactics.

Tips Leading to Success in an Online Business

    The best way to be successful is to study how others became successful. I studied, "Think and Grow Rich," by Napoleon Hill. Despite the fact that Mr. Hill published this all-time Best-Seller in 1937, its message is just as relevant now as it was 75 years ago.

    Through hours of Internet research I found some of the top websites that get thousands of visitors month after month. Replication is the best form of flattery so my plan was to "copy" the work others had done before I came along. By copy I really mean to follow their lead by doing similar things without plagiarizing or duplicating them.

    I began my online business using websites. I learned later that "blogs" are far more effective as business tools than websites. So One-by-one I scrapped my websites and constructed blogs.

    I learned that for any online business to succeed, people searching the Internet need to be able to find it. This is where the search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others come into play. Continuing research gave me the knowledge of how to create blogs that would position my blogs close to or even ahead of some of my competitors-like having one of my blogs appear on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

    To get recognized by the search engines, you must have a good understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google and others can be your friend or enemy in this regard. Better to be a friend!
    Once a plan is in place, it requires frequent maintenance of your blog, or as in my case-multiple blogs. (At this writing I have about 70).

Have I mastered the secret for creating untold wealth as an Internet Marketer? NOPE! Not yet. You see I am not a quitter. I am determined to succeed. I have a plan to succeed, I have the tools to succeed.

Part of the "secret" of being a successful online business owner is to first believe in yourself!